Trip Planning Help Please

Topic 20418 | Page 1

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Paul F. 's Comment
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I've got about 15,000 miles to go in tnt training at prime. I've had 3 trainers so far and none of them do pre trips (I can do that on my own) and none have done trip planning. Where can I go to learn this on my own. Is there a book or website to teach me this?

Thanks in advance!!

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Old School's Comment
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First question...

Having two trainers seems a bit frustrating, but to have had three trainers is starting to sound like there are more issues than just the lack of pre-trips and trip planning.

Pray, what's going on in that truck that you are on your third trainer?

Old School's Comment
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Paul, I think trip planning is something that you will develop as you are a solo driver. It is a second cousin to time management. Each of us has their own style of running their truck, and there are so many variables on each load, that it becomes a personal approach.

I wouldn't be surprised if you were to ask the person at Prime who is in charge of the training program, that they may offer some sort of a class on trip planning. Basically as you learn the various parts, or regions of the country, you will begin to learn how to plan your trips based on terrain, traffic, road construction, etc.

Remember, they are basically training you to just be a rookie driver who barely knows what he's doing at this point. Their main concern right now is that you are someone who can be safely trusted with your own truck. You will be filling in a lot of the gaps on your own as you develop into a professional driver.

Fatsquatch 's Comment
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What OS says about the personal approach is true, but here are some basics to get you started.

First, take a deep breath. It might seem overwhelming right now, but you'll be amazed how quickly you get the hang of it.

Now, when starting to plan for a particular load, you need to determine how much time you'll need to get from point A to point B. Take the number of miles, in hundreds, and multiply by 2. For example, if the load is 900 miles, you'll need 18 hours of driving. If it's 1300 miles, you'll need 26 hours. I generally round to the nearest hundred, so if I get a load that's 776 miles, I round to 800, or if I get a load that's 1120, I round to 1100. Don't forget to add in your deadhead miles and your breaks. You need to account for your break times as well to determine if you can service the load within the scheduled time. Double check your available hours as well to make sure you have enough hours to do the load. And don't forget to take crossing time zones into account as well, especially when running west-to-east.

Second, look at your route and decide where you want to take your breaks. Make that plan A, and then look at where else you could stop if circumstances force you to have to shut down sooner. Always have a plan B...and C, D, and E. Things can--and will--change in the blink of an eye. Weather delays, construction delays, a massive pileup on the road ahead of you, alien invasion, breakdowns, you name it. Always be ready to adjust your trip plan on the fly.

Finally, you're going to flub it at some point. It's inevitable. It's just part of the learning curve. We've all done it at least once. Just be willing to own up to it, say "oops, derp, I mathed wrong," and learn from your mistake. Don't obsess over it, don't freak out about it, but look at where you went wrong and what you could've done differently.

Okay, you can let that breath out now.

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

Paul F. 's Comment
member avatar

Old school.

Trainer 1 was psd (good guy) Trainer 2 was an asshat who kicked me off his truck. The final straw was I farted. Trainer 3 is terrific. I bit weird, but so am I so we're a good fit.

I was hoping to see my trainers do trip planning so I can take what I wanted to from each and create my own style from a combination. My trainers all seem to know in their heads where they like to stop.

Fatsquatch

Deep breath taken. (I've read the transcript of brett's latest podcast).

As far as what route. I plan to get a gps. Do I program that then use its route to go through manually, or try to plan my own, then compare to gps.

Actually as I type, I realize I'm going to be a company driver, so they pretty much tell me the route I should take, and where to fuel.

The 50 mph (2hrs per hundred, I pretty much do in my head already) not too hard math. I always round up. I'd always rather be a bit early than a bit late. I understand the clock (pretty much). I feel as if I could do the trip planning, albeit at a rudimentary level, already. I'm a pretty inteligent guy. But as an intellectual, I like to research the heck out of things. Also, although I trust technology, it will fail from time to time, so I like a contingency in case the gps decided to go haywire on me.

I appreciate your help folks. Next stop, search trip planning on the message boards here (probably should have been my first stop, huh?)

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.
Cornelius A.'s Comment
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Talk with Rainy she will be a great mentor fror you to have

Blake 's Comment
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On youtube I watched a series by Junior Honduras whom works for Prime called Truck Driving Trip Planning. He went over every step on how he trip plans using only Qualcomm and Road Atlas.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
Paul F. 's Comment
member avatar

On youtube I watched a series by Junior Honduras whom works for Prime called Truck Driving Trip Planning. He went over every step on how he trip plans using only Qualcomm and Road Atlas.

I'll check it out when I have some wifi.

Thanks!!

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
Paul F. 's Comment
member avatar

On youtube I watched a series by Junior Honduras whom works for Prime called Truck Driving Trip Planning. He went over every step on how he trip plans using only Qualcomm and Road Atlas.

Blake,

Here is the biggest coincidence since I've been with prime.

We're picking up next from the same place junior picked up in his video. Lol

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
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